England head coach Trevor Bayliss is optimistic over Jos Buttler’s fitness ahead of Friday’s World Cup clash with the West Indies at the Ageas Bowl.
Buttler hurt his right hip while batting in England’s previous match against Bangladesh, hobbling for the remainder of his knock and passing on wicketkeeping duties to Jonny Bairstow for the second innings.
The England team were training at the Ageas Bowl on Wednesday and he was fit enough to take part. Bayliss said: ‘Yes, he’s fine.
‘It was a little bit precautionary the other day. He wasn’t really sure if he would be able to run after a high catch.’
Asked if Buttler might play as a specialist batsman to lighten his workload in the field, Bayliss kept his options open.
Test gloveman Bairstow stands by to continue and would slot in with minimal disruption.
‘I haven’t really thought about it. We’ll make that decision in the next day or so,’ said the Australian.
‘We’ll see how he pulls up and how he performs at practice. I'm expecting him to play a full part.’
Buttler has been in fine form in the competition thus far, with scores of 18, 103 and 64 all coming at punishing strike rates.
If England are to succeed in their aim of winning the trophy at Lord’s, he will surely have a major role to play, meaning how they protect any fitness niggles represents a balancing act for the selectors.Should he respond badly to his outing in the nets, or if England merely decide to err on the side of caution with one of their star assets, Hampshire’s James Vince would be the likeliest pick in his role as spare batsman.
All-rounder Moeen Ali is also eyeing a return to the XI after sitting out the 106-run victory over the Tigers in Cardiff.
His off-breaks were deemed surplus to requirements in a seam-heavy attack at Sophia Gardens, but he could come back into consideration at the Ageas Bowl.
Moeen was excused from training on Wednesday after the birth of his new baby daughter Haadiya.
He will rejoin the squad for final preparations on the eve of the game and is available to take on the Windies.